The numbers: Job openings in the U.S. rose slightly in May to a record 9.21 million, reflecting an insatiable demand for labor as the economy fully reopens and businesses scramble to keep up with soaring sales for their goods and services.

The number of available jobs has set a record for three straight months. Job openings had fallen to as low as 4.6 million last year after the coronavirus pandemic briefly shut down much of the economy. Businesses are trying to fill the mountain of available jobs, but it’s not going as fast as they would like.

Although the U.S. created 850,000 new jobs in June, it would take more than a year at that rate to restore employment to pre-pandemic trends. The competition for workers has given job seekers the upper hand. A record 4 million people quit two months ago — most to take a better or better-paying job.


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That’s nearly double the number of people quitting a year earlier. “People are moving from one job to the next,” said Anthony Nieves, chairman of a monthly survey of service-oriented companies that asks how business is going. The survey is compiled by the Institute for Supply Management. READ MORE

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